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Turning Red: 7 Moments From The New Pixar Film I Loved

Meilin as a big red panda
(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Turning Red has premiered and has become a hit with all kinds of people. From its stellar Turning Red cast to its wonderful story of learning to grow up and love who you are, the movie has captured the hearts of viewers and has certainly become one of Pixar’s best within the last few years, at least in my opinion. 

But, with ninety minutes and so much cuteness packed into it, there are plenty of moments that made me squeal as my heart exploded with joy. If you’re like me and loved Turning Red, here are seven moments that made me laugh, cry, or just happy throughout the new Pixar movie. 

Mei under her bed in Turning Red.

(Image credit: Disney+)

When They Showed An Accurate Portrayal Of Weird-Ass Teen Crushes

To be honest, what Mei was drawing wasn’t that bad compared to some of the stuff I’ve seen. 

Being a child going through puberty is weird as hell and Turning Red did an excellent job showing that, even providing a scene featuring menstrual products. But, one of my favorite scenes, hands down, has to be when Mei starts to draw weird pictures of her crush, Devon, in various forms in her notebook. 

It’s refreshing to see teen crushes portrayed that way, because attraction is so weird at that age. And, it’s not even talked about that much in the film. It isn’t the center of the story. It’s just Mei showing how she feels about a certain guy in her own quirky way, and as someone who went through her own phase just like that, I loved it. 

Mei and her girls at the end of Turning Red.

(Image credit: Disney+)

When Mei’s Girls Still Accepted Her No Matter What 

Some friendships are with you forever - even when you’re a giant red panda. In Turning Red, when Mei reveals her condition to her friends, they all try and calm her down by signing a song together by 4*Town, saying that she’ll still be their girl, panda or no panda, no matter what. 

This moment made my chest just convulse with sweetness. I mean, talk about the epitome of friendship. These girls really are her ride or die crew - which is what makes that pivotal moment where Mei turns her back on them that much more heartbreaking. It just goes to show how powerful friendship is and how sometimes, that’s all you need to get through a rough day. 

Mei and Ming in Turning Red.

(Image credit: Disney+)

When Mei And Ming Fight In Their Red Panda Forms 

Alright, the whole Turning Red ending was great from start to finish, especially with the inclusion of Mei’s family, her friends, and even 4*Town starting to chant and get Mei into that other realm to separate herself from her panda body. But, I still can’t get over that fight scene between Mei and Ming; for the right reasons, because I was laughing hysterically.

I mean, you can’t sit there and tell me you weren’t laughing when Ming’s panda form was literally bigger than the stadium. And Mei tried to fight back and tell her that this was who she was now, that she liked gyrating and all that stuff - it had me crying tears of laughter. 

Ming and Mei in Turning Red.

(Image credit: Disney+)

When Mei Discovers Her Mother Was Just Like Her At Her Age

Probably one of the biggest moments of the Turning Red ending that stuck with me. In the other realm, where the women go to separate themselves from their Red Panda form, Mei discovers her mother as her younger self, crying. And, it’s there that she says she feels the same exact pressures that Mei does, to constantly want to be perfect for her mother, but she doesn’t know how to tell her that it’s stressing her out. 

It’s a great full-circle moment, and shows that even Ming herself had gone through family troubles when she reached that time in her life where her Red Panda started to come out more and more. This is further pushed when Mei takes her mothers hand and leads her directly to where the others were, making sure she felt like she wasn’t alone. It was so sweet. 

Ming and Mei in Turning Red.

(Image credit: Disney+)

When Ming And Mei Make Up - And Her Mother Accepts Her New Form 

The climax of the film is when Mei straight up tells her mother that she’s going to keep her Red Panda form, because she feels she is freely able to be herself with it now and learn to grow as a person. Her mother, who was completely against this at the beginning, is fully accepting of her daughter’s decision, and understands that she is finding her own path. 

It’s a beautiful moment, and shows just how much these two have changed from the beginning of the film - Mei, learning to become her own person instead of the version that her mother always sees her as, and Ming, learning to let her daughter go and grow into a beautiful young woman. It makes me cry every time. 

Ming and Mei in Turning Red.

(Image credit: Disney+)

When The Lee Family Finds A Way To Use Her New Form To Raise Money For The Skydome

I have to say, I feel so bad for 4*Town since their show got ruined - guess we’ll just need to hear Jordan Fisher and all those voices some other time for another fun song. But, at least now, the Lee family found a fun way to raise money to rebuild the Skydome - by using Mei’s Red Panda, of course. 

This was definitely one of my favorite moments, just because it’s such a profound change in character for Ming. To be honest, it works perfectly for her character and I adore it in every sense of the word. Plus, bringing in money like this and being able to be her real-self is like a win-win for Mei, even if fundraising the money is going to take quite a bit of time. 

Ming and Mei in Turning Red.

(Image credit: Disney+)

When Mei Used Her Red Panda Form As A Way Be Herself

While this isn’t really a specific moment in the film, I have to put this in here. The whole point of Turning Red for me wasn’t just about a girl turning into a Red Panda - it was about her discovering herself and learning to grow up and find her own path rather than set out on the one her mother had carved for her. 

It’s a beautiful coming-of-age story that really spoke to me and had me calling my own other to talk with her about my childhood. And, I have to say, Mei using the panda as a way to fully be herself, throughout the entirety of this film, was perfect. 

I love how open and freeing it feels to finally be yourself, and that is a beautiful message not only for kids, but for adults - don’t hold yourself back just because it might not be what someone else wants for you. Be yourself and be free. If there’s ever a Turning Red 2, I’ll gladly watch it, but I think for now, this Pixar non-franchise movie is one of the better films they’ve turned out in years. 

What were some of your favorite parts in Turning Red? I know I’ll be re-watching it over and over. We are certainly in a golden age of Pixar films, that’s for sure.  

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!